Ken Burns said National Parks are America’s best idea. Does that mean National Park gifts are the best gift idea? I am going with, “yes!”
While I am partial to Yellowstone National Park since it is in my backyard, I love all the parks, monuments, refuges, forests, and other public lands in America and the world. I am not alone. I asked fellow bloggers and national park enthusiasts to help me come up with a list of the best National Parks gift ideas.
From Yellowstone souvenirs to gifts for outdoor enthusiasts, we’ve compiled a list to help you find the perfect National Park gift for friends or family. We have gifts for adventure lovers and National Park gift ideas for everyone on your list (even yourself!).
I’ve divided this list of National Parks gifts into two sections.
- National Park Themed Gifts
- Gear For National Parks
Whether you are looking for a National Park Christmas gifts, Hanukkah presents for National Park lovers, or National Parks souvenirs in general, we’ve got you covered.
National Park Themed Gifts
These are the gifts that you might use at home, but have a National Park theme. From National Parks Monopoly to a Glacier National Park coloring book, to National Parks scratch off maps, and more, this National Park merchandise will remind you of trips you have taken and inspire you to visit more National Parks.
National Park Games
– Jamie from PhotoJeepers
Did you know there are classic games available with a National Park theme? Anyone who enjoys the outdoors will have so much fun playing National Park games. We love to play Monopoly as a family, and were so thrilled to receive Monopoly National Parks Edition as a gift. The game board, money and cards all depict something to do with a National Park.
We’ve since looked into getting other games. There’s a Jenga where each wooden piece has a fun fact about the National Parks. There’s also National Park Yahtzeeand Trivial Pursuittravel editions that would be perfect to play on a road trip.
If you have someone on your list that likes to play games and enjoys the National Parks, these games would be a fun gift! And you’re donating to a good cause because a portion of the proceeds goes to the National Parks Foundation!
Click on the links below to see current prices and reviews for the following National Park themed games.
- National Park Monopoly
- National Park Jenga
- National Park Yahtzee
- Trekking The National Parks: The Family Board Game
- National Parks Matching Game
Coloring Glacier National Park, a Grayscale Coloring Book for Travelers
– Donna from My Itchy Travel Feet
A visit to Montana’s Glacier National Park is an awe-inspiring experience. Craggy mountaintops, some still lightly sprinkled with glaciers, incomparable hiking trails, and prolific wildlife make a trip to Glacier a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The unforgettable scenery has inspired many a photographer or artist.
Now the National Park lover on your gift list can join in the fun with Coloring Glacier National Park, a Grayscale Coloring Book for Travelers, by Donna L. Hull. Inside, 34 one-sided pages depict iconic scenes like a mountain goat at Hidden Lake Overlook, the view from the deck at Many Glacier Hotel, and snow-capped peaks reflected in the waters of Lake McDonald.
Coloring these scenes will make your National Park fan feel like an artist. Gray shading guides color selections using darker colors in the dark gray sections and lighter colors in the lighter gray areas. The results are amazingly realistic.
Coloring Glacier National Park will rekindle fond memories of visits to The Crown of the Continent. Or it just might inspire another trip.
See prices and reviews: Coloring Glacier National Park: A Grayscale Coloring Book for Travelers
See my Guide to Glacier National Park on TravelingMel.com.
National Park Poster
I love the vintage National Park posters. They make me feel nostalgic for a time before I was born when it took some effort and moxie to visit a National Park. I love being able to flash my National Park pass and drive to my favorite Yellowstone trailhead, but how cool would it be to come in by train and then stagecoach?
Vintage National Park posters take me to that time period. And if you frame them nicely, they make your house look beautiful. For National Park posters, Amazon is the place to go (hello, free shipping!) – unless you can go to your favorite National Park. In that case, go there.
See current prices and reviews on these National Park posters.
- Yellowstone National Park – Grand Prismatic Hot Spring Poster
- Grand Teton National Park Poster
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park Poster
- Zion National Park Poster
- Other vintage National Park posters
National Park Puzzles
If you are in need of gifts for National Park enthusiasts who also love to sit in front of a fire with a hot drink and a puzzle, you can’t go wrong with a National Park puzzle. So far, I have completed a Yosemite National Park puzzle, a Grand Canyon National Park puzzle, and a Bryce Canyon National Park puzzle. The Channel Islands National Park version awaits in my closet for this holiday season.
National Park Scratch Off Map
If you are looking for map related gifts for a National Park fan, check out this National Parks map gift from Massive Wanderlust (It’s my favorite). It is made in the USA and of high quality. Once you visit a National Park, scratch off the tree near its name. Soon, you will have a whole forest of green trees showing all the parks you’ve been to. This National Park memorabilia is just the thing for my nature loving son who is also a big geography aficionado.
National Park Kids Books
- America’s National Parks, Kid’s Activity Book: Games, Puzzles, Mazes, Activities, Trivia
- Who Pooped in the Park? Yellowstone National Park: Scat and Tracks for Kids (and you can find versions for other Parks)
- Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure
- What I saw in Glacier: A Kid’s Guide to the National Park
- The Kid’s Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains
These adventure themed gifts get kids excited about visiting National Parks. Plus, we all get more out of a trip when we know the backstory of a place.
Gear For National Parks
The rest of this list includes:
- Best Gifts For Nature Lovers
- Best Gifts For Hikers
- Best Gifts For Camping Lovers
- Best Gifts For Adventurers
These are the items people want to take with them on their National Park adventure to enhance their experience.
Night Sky Map
Jana from Travels and Smiles
Forget about a regular map and get lost with a map of the stars in the night sky! National Parks are miles and miles away from the bright city lights which gives the viewer the most spectacular view of the sky. Grab a map, get comfy and look up. You can’t see the sky like this in the city! Try to locate some of the many stars constellations the night sky has to offer. Have you ever seen so many?
Celestron Sky Maps is one of the best tools for star gazing. The front of the book includes this very cool glow-in-the-dark planisphere. A rotating star wheel can be adjusted to any date and time in the past, present, or future. After setting the time you will see the display of the stars how they looked at the particular time. Expose the book cover to light for a minute and you will get a glow-in-the-dark skies display with all major stars glowing just like the ones in the sky. The book also contains stars charts for each of the four seasons.
- See current prices and reviews for Celestron Sky Maps.
Filter Water Bottle
– Sarah from ASocialNomad
Everyone needs water – and the world needs less plastic – that’s why I carry a reusable filter water bottle. Everywhere. This is a great gift for National Park lovers. It will help them avoid buying bottled water and stop them contributing to the increasing problem of plastic in landfills and oceans. A great filter water bottle will remove Giardia and Cryptosporidium from untreated or contaminated water, as well as other bugs, which can cause nasty gastrointestinal diseases.
If the only water source is a river or a stream, or even a muddy puddle, then a filter water bottle can clean that up for you too.
And, as a filter water bottle is the gift that keeps on giving, it will save money too. I save on average US$425 a year just on drinking water by using this!
- See current prices and reviews on LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw
– Cath from Passports and Adventures
A great camera is one of the best gifts for national park lovers. Whether it is Zion, Yosemite, or Yellowstone National Park, a good camera is a must to capture the awe and beauty of these places. While phone cameras are great these days, I personally prefer a camera with a bit more oomph about it than my phone camera.
My personal favorite is the Canon Powershot G7X Mark ii. This neat little camera is not only portable, compared to the bigger DSLRs, it has all the functionality and capabilities of its bigger counterparts.
From different scene modes, to fully manual, this camera will easily capture the beauty and wonder of the national parks. It can shoot in jpeg, raw, or both modes at the same time. And its handy WiFi capability means you can share your stunning landscapes with your friends, family, and followers in just a few short steps. While it’s not very light, it is portable, making it ideal for families as well as solo travellers. A great, portable camera is an ideal gift for national park lovers.
- See current prices and reviews on Canon PowerShot Digital Camera [G7 X Mark II].
– Michael from The World Was Here First
For travelers who love being out in nature and visiting National Parks, it is always vital to try and keep your backpack as light as possible! This can often be a struggle if you enjoy taking photos, as traditional camera gear can be quite heavy and bulky.
One of the best gifts you can give to people who want to reduce weight in their backpack and also improve their photos is a quality lightweight tripod.
One of the best lightweight tripods currently available on the market is undoubtedly the JOBY GorillaPod. What makes this tripod stand out from its competitors are its flexible legs that can be wrapped around different objects, such as tree trunks, to help you capture the perfect photo.
I take this tripod on every trip I go on and love the fact that it is incredibly light, yet is still very sturdy and suitable for a range of mirrorless and DSLR cameras. This is undoubtedly a fantastic gift for budding photographers who enjoy visiting National Parks and being in nature!
- See current prices and reviews on JOBY GorillaPod Compact Tripod
Kids Sleeping Bag
– LeAnna from Well Traveled Nebraskan
We love to camp when available, but also enjoy cabins and other “rustic” style stays as well, even when out exploring with our kids. But with things like camping, you need to have some pretty specific gear.
Therefore, one of our necessities to traveling in the National Parks is the perfect kids sleeping bag, since weathering the outdoors brings all sorts of climates! In fact, we learned the importance of having a kid/toddler specific sleeping bag and why an adult one just won’t do for the little travelers. On cold nights, an adult bag meant for adult sizes, just won’t keep a smaller body’s heat in the same way.
One of the benefits of our kids having their own sleeping bag is that they get excited about the trip when they got to pick out and use their own gear, just like us adults!
- See current prices and reviews on kids’ sleeping bags.
– Marta from Learning Escapes
An item we never travel without, when visiting National Parks, are kids binoculars. They come in many sizes and depending on the age of your kids you can choose between those that are more like a toy or invest in better quality ones with excellent (and sometimes pricey) lenses.
Our kids are obsessed with them and they are a great way to help them engage with the park. My two like to use them the right way and try spot climbers, birds or faraway wildlife, but sometimes they get more silly with them and turn them around to see how far a bug (or your brother) can look!
The ones we have are light and have a good strap around the neck that comes undone in case they get hooked in a branch or similar while hiking. This is a security thing most kids’ binoculars have and one it is worth looking out for even if on a budget as it saves from potentially serious injuries.
Small binoculars take up very little space and are fun on any trip but especially in National Parks, where they can make you feel like a pro while you work your way to gaining a junior ranger badge!
- See current prices and reviews onkids binoculars.
– Rebecca from Innate Moves
Visiting any National Park can be a lot of fun to do with kids – even young ones! However, even if your kids are active, it is hard for their little legs to keep up with adults on some of the long walks and hikes. Often strollers can just get in the way and just can’t tackle the grounds of some parks. For parents with young kids, child carriers are often the answer.
Child carriers are a great gift for parents (or grandparents or anyone else that likes to bring young children with them to parks) that visit national parks. Having a child carrier opens up a whole new world of opportunities for people! They can actually be quite comfortable and extremely easy to use.
Don’t get overwhelmed when selecting a child carrier – there is a lot to choose from. A soft structured carrier (as opposed to a “hiking” one with a hard frame) is a great option as it can be stuffed into a bag.
An Ergo is a child carrier brand that can fit all body types and is easy to use (great for busy mothers!). Woven wraps are also very versatile, but there is a longer adjustment period to learn proper wrapping techniques. Both an Ergo and a woven wrap can be worn on the front (for babies – they can even nurse while being carried!) or back.
Child carriers can, and should, last for years, so take advantage by getting a high weight limit. I recently wore my tall six-year-old in my Didymos woven wrap, walking around ruins in Mexico!
– Mary Beth from a Reluctant Mom
An off-road stroller is one of the best gifts for parents who love national parks! Having a baby doesn’t mean national park travel needs to be restricted to scenic overlooks. There are so many park trails that are stroller-friendly if you have the right model.
My favorite is the BOB brand, but there are also several others built for hiking off-the-beaten-path. I recommend one with a fixed or lockable front wheel for stability on rough terrain, and a tether and handbrake for safety.
My family has used ours on trips to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Big Sur (among many others!), and it always works out great – especially when our backs need a break from carrying our baby in his kid carrier.
All-terrain strollers are perfect for parents who don’t want to sacrifice their outdoor lifestyles when little ones come along. And it’s a great way to introduce baby to an active lifestyle enjoying all that our national parks have to offer!
- See current prices and reviews on off road strollers.
See my guide to Family Friendly Hikes in Yellowstone. Some of them are very stroller-friendly.
Passport To Your National Parks
Each of my kids has a National Park Passport that we often remember to take with us when visiting a National Park for the first time. It makes for a near Parks project while they use them, and a fun National Park souvenir when it’s full.
Each time we go to a Park we stamp the corresponding page with the designated stamp in the visitor center. You can also get stickers from a National Park gift shop for each park.
- Check out the Passport To Your National Parks online.